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Forest Information Billboard


Issue 2, June 2020

 


 Forest reporting


NATURE UNLOCKED: UNECE launches global photo contest showing ‎flora and fauna during lockdown to celebrate World Environment Day

As governments worldwide declared lockdowns in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, animals and plants started reclaiming spaces previously seen as being reserved for human activities: fish, ducks and dolphins inhabited canals and approached shores, while deer, wild goats and monkeys began searching towns and cities for food.

The empty skies and streets offered some respite for nature and made even clearer the huge impact of human activities on biodiversity in cities. While biodiversity in urban context is sometimes neglected, it represents an important part of our efforts to prevent up to one million species from becoming extinct in the years to come. In this light, capturing these historical sights of ‘nature unlocked’ in cities provides a unique chance to reconnect with our natural world as we try to imagine and create a more sustainable future.

To further inspire such visions and to celebrate the World Environment Day 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has launched “Humans locked down, NATURE UNLOCKED: A global photo contest on flora and fauna in the time of COVID-19 in support of the restoration of ecosystems”. This photography contest aims to raise awareness of the alarming speed at which species’ natural habitats are disappearing worldwide and promote the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity as a cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Find out more here, and submit your photographs here.


First results of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 are out!

On 7 May 2020 the FAO released the key findings of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020). The release was the first step in the process of the dissemination of the FRA 2020 which examines the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.

According to the report, today there are 4.06 billion hectares of forest, equal to 0.52 hectare for each person on Earth. On a net basis, including forest expansions, the world's forest area has declined by 4.7 million hectares a year during the last decade.  Deforestation continues, albeit at a slower rate, with 10 million hectares of forest being converted to other land uses every year since 2015, down from 12 million hectares a year in the previous five years.

One notable upside captured by the new assessment is that the area of forest in protected areas globally has increased by 191 million hectares since 1990 and now 18 percent of the world's forests are located within protected areas, with South America home to the highest share of these. That means that the world has met and surpassed, for forests, the Aichi Biodiversity Target to protect at least 17 percent of terrestrial area by 2020.

Some key findings:

-    The world's forest area has shrunk since 1990 by 178 million hectares, roughly the size of Libya.

-    During the last decade forest area has increased in Asia, Oceania and Europe, while the highest rate of net forest losses was recorded in Africa, followed by South America.

-    Primary forests account for some 1.11 billion hectares.

-    About 30 percent of all forests is used primarily for production of wood and non-wood forest products.

-    The share of forests designated primarily for soil and water protection is increasing.

-    Most forest areas - 93 percent of the total - consist of naturally regenerating forests, while the remainder is planted.

-    Total forest carbon stock is decreasing with declining forest area although the carbon stock density has slightly increased within the last three decades.

FRA 2020 data were collected following commonly agreed terms and definitions through a transparent and traceable reporting process, an online innovative platform and a well-established network of officially nominated national correspondents that covers 187 countries and territories. More than 700 people were directly involved in this process. The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section actively supported FRA and countries of the pan-European region in this process, including by hosting and co-organizing a regional preparatory workshop in Geneva, in April 2018.

The key findings of FRA 2020, with more information about the process can be found at: www.fao.org/forest-resources-assessment/en/. FRA 2020 main report and database will be published during the second half of 2020.

Please contact Mr Anssi Pekkarinen, FAO Senior Forestry Officer at anssi.pekkarinen@fao.org, for any question regarding the FRA 2020 and its results. More information about the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section contribution to this process can be obtained from Mr. Roman Michalak, at roman.michalak@un.org.


First webinar of the Team of Specialists on Wood Energy on “The DRAX Biomass Carbon Calculator – background, scope and functionalities” was held on 11 June 2020

The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section in close cooperation with the Team of Specialists on wood energy, successfully organized the first exclusive webinar for the Team of Specialists on “The DRAX Biomass Carbon Calculator – background, scope and functionalities”.

The Team of Specialists considers the carbon footprint of harvesting, processing, handling and transporting as an important issue for the coming year and the event provided valuable insight into an industries’ perspective on how to comply with legal requirements for reporting of carbon emissions. 26 experts from 12 countries, 2 international organizations and 4 NGO’s attended the meeting. The Team considered the meeting highly informative asked the secretariat to consider hosting more meetings on this format in the future. More information on the meeting can be found here.


Forests are critical for promoting pollination in agriculture and biodiversity, says FAO report

Forests and trees are critical for promoting pollination by bees, butterflies and other animals, and there is an urgent need to stop their habitat degradation and safeguard biodiversity, according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The report jointly produced by FAO and Bioversity International, is designed to raise awareness about critical role and the benefits of forest-dependent pollinators and is targeted at forest managers, landscape planners and land use decision makers.

"Forests are home to wild bees, bats, butterflies and other pollinators and they are vital for safeguarding ecosystems, for biodiversity and for crop production, thus also for food security," said Tiina Vahanen, chief of FAO's forestry policy and resources division.

"A decline in pollinators is likely to impact forests regeneration by reducing the genetic diversity of forest trees and their resilience and adaptive potential."

Many pollinators depend heavily on forests for nesting and forage. But the report noted that deforestation or landscape fragmentation together with climate change have impacted on their role and that has had a cascading effect on the sustainability of ecosystems, food security and livelihoods.

An estimated 88 percent of wild flowering plants are animal-pollinated globally, and more than 70 percent of global food crops benefit from animal pollination, the report noted.

When pollen is carried from one plant to another by bees and other insects, they not only enable the production of fruits, nuts and seeds, but promote greater variety and better quality, thereby contributing to nutrition and food security.

Land-use change and land management practices can fragment and degrade pollinator habitats. The report found that wild pollinators provide crop plants with important pollination services that cannot be replaced by managed bees.

Damien Bertrand, FAO forestry officer and co-author of the report, said forest and landscape management played a critical role in ensuring pollinators' ongoing viability.

"Selective logging, thinning, and prescribed burning, done in a way that increases the heterogeneity of tree communities is likely to benefit pollinators and other forest biodiversity," said Bertrand.

"We have to ensure the continued availability of pollinators and thereby increase the resilience and productivity of forestry and agriculture."

The FAO report featured over 35 case studies including one that revealed a strong positive link between bee diversity and forest cover in Brazil's coffee sector, while another in Costa Rica showed some bee species were only found in forested habitats.

Read full press release here.


UN report: As the world’s forests continue to shrink, urgent action is needed to safeguard their biodiversity

Urgent action is needed to safeguard the biodiversity of the world's forests amid alarming rates of deforestation and degradation, according to the latest edition of The State of the World's Forests released today.

Published on the International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May), the report shows that the conservation of the world's biodiversity is utterly dependent on the way in which we interact with and use the world's forests.

The report was produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership, for the first time, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and technical input from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

It highlights that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp focus the importance of conserving and sustainably using nature, recognizing that people's health is linked to ecosystem health.

Protecting forests is key to this, as they harbour most of the Earth's terrestrial biodiversity. This report shows that forests contain 60,000 different tree species, 80 percent of amphibian species, 75 percent of bird species, and 68 percent of the Earth's mammal species.

FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, noted in the report, found that despite a slowing of the rate of deforestation in the last decade, some 10 million hectares are still being lost each year through conversion to agriculture and other land uses.

"Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity," FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, and the Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen, said in the foreword.

The report presents a comprehensive overview of forest biodiversity, including world maps revealing where forests still hold rich communities of fauna and flora, such as the northern Andes and parts of the Congo Basin, and where they have been lost.

Full press release is available here.


Companies in Brazilian forest sector invest more than R$ 110 million (about US$ 25 million) to help Brazilians fight Covid-19

As we work to fight the coronavirus, companies in the planted forest sector are participating in a large-scale private initiative to help the country get through this crisis. Bracell, Cenibra, CMPC (and its subsidiary Softys), Duratex, Eldorado, Gerdau, Ibema, International Paper, Irani Klabin, Suzano, Veracel, and Westrock have invested at least R$ 114 million in activities that benefit Brazilians across the nation.

These resources went toward donations of hospital equipment, protective gear for health professionals, hygiene items, food, and products manufactured by these companies in 12 states: Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceará, Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranhão, and Pará.

A crisis on this scale demands unity and solidarity.  The planted tree sector has been working to find a balance between minimizing the devastating effects of Covid-19, ensuring that the essential products made in its factories across nearly all Brazilian states reach hospitals and homes, and at the same time adopting a strong stance to protect employees. This is an industry that takes care of its employees and communities as well as all of Brazil.

"In crises, three things are certain: there are there lessons to be learned, there are opportunities, and the crisis always comes to an end. Companies are learning every day, everything from measures to protect their employees and contractors to providing aid for communities and other Brazilians. In addition, the social outreach by these companies is proving essential to alleviate the suffering of Brazilians and make Brazil a more supportive and empathetic country by the time this battle is over," said Ibá president Paulo Hartung.

Adding up all these efforts, both direct actions and partnerships, the forestry sector is responsible for the donation of at least:
•    6,800 respirators
•    over 14 million surgical masks
•    15,000 liters of alcohol hand sanitizer
•    82,000 liters of 70% alcohol
•    32,000 liters of bleach
•    31,500 surgical gowns
•    50,000 pairs of gloves
•    Investment and direct donation of materials for infrastructure or operations at 15 hospitals, three of which are field hospitals.

Products from this industry are essential in our everyday lives, and are serving society in the fight against Covid-19. These include 606,000 cardboard boxes donated to ship alcohol hand sanitizer and other items, and more than a million paper cups that went to institutions and the public health system.

"The planted tree sector has been working to meet urgent and essential needs. These companies have brought essential items to thousands of Brazilians as we all fight against the coronavirus. In the meantime, they have done everything possible to work safely and keep manufacturing, maintaining the income of hundreds of families and avoiding shortages of essential products," said Hartung.

In order to better direct their donations, the companies worked together with the government and established partnerships with ministries, state and municipal governments, and other institutions such as industrial federations and philanthropic entities.


Ibá’s new video shows the importance of its products in the daily lives of all Brazilians

Have you ever stopped to think about how food and medications would reach your home without paper packaging? Hygiene would be jeopardized without toilet paper, paper towels, and wipes. Paper is essential for the health system, since it is used to make prescription pads and medication package inserts. Doctors can’t work without masks and protective clothing, which are made also with pulp and soluble cellulose. And hospital care would be impossible without surgical instruments made from stainless steel, with charcoal used as a bio-reducer in the steelmaking process.

For this reason, the planted tree industry has not stopped in Brasil. The industry is taking precautions so it can keep working, especially as we fight the coronavirus. Watch the video from the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá) that shows how we care for people. This goes from working in our companies to protect our employees to the final product, and extends beyond to charity activities, with various donation programs underway.

Watch the video and share our message. The planted tree sector has made a commitment to society, and continues to be here for you. #AquiPorVocê.


Decline in timber harvesting in Austria in 2019

According to section 171 of the Austrian Forest Act, the forest authority is obligated to conduct periodic (annual) timber felling surveys. The volume felled has to be reported annually and comprises the quantities of timber felled in the reporting year (between January 1 and December 31) and intended for sale, for own consumption or for the granting of wood supply rights.

In 2019, the total quantity of timber harvested in Austria amounted to 18.90 million cubic meters of timber harvested under bark. It was thus 1.50 % below the value of 2018 (19.19 million m³ under bark). Again, there was an increase in damaged wood: with 11.73 million solid meters, the amount was 18.19% above the previous year. The main damage factors in 2019 were bark beetles with 4.26 million cubic meters (36.31% of the total amount of damaged wood) and storms with 4.41 million solid cubic meters (37.60%).

More information (in German) is available here.


Russian Forest Industry Review 2019-2020: downward price trends, lower financial indicators, a slowdown in the Russian timber industry, and new 'black swans'

During the entire year of 2019, prices for forest products were remaining on a downtrend appeared at the end of Q3 2018. 'Super profits' received by timber enterprises at peak prices of Q1-Q3 2018 allowed companies to form some reserves to stay afloat relatively calmly during the period of low prices in 2019.

Major world and Russian companies used that time to modernize their production facilities, to effect M&A deals, and some even afforded to suspend their production during this period of low prices. The definitive financial results by companies will be summed up later. However, many timber enterprises have already reported that they had reduced their revenues or EBITDA margins.

According to the results of 2019, the revenue of Mondi Group reduced by 3% to €7.268 billion, that of International Paper – by 3.99% to $23.376 billion, UPM – minus 2% to €10.238 billion, Stora Enso: -4.1% to €10.055 billion. After the 'super profits of 2018', it is obvious that Russian timber enterprises didn't manage to retain their positions as well and got lower financial indicators for 2019. For example, according to preliminary estimates, Ilim Group lost up to 30% of EBITDA due to falling prices for wood pulp. 

More information is available here.


Forest dieback in European State Forests and measures to combat it

According to a survey EUSTAFOR disseminated among its members, more than 1,2 million ha of forests in 13 European countries have experienced damage, resulting in the loss of more than 36 million m3 of wood over the period of 2018 - 2019. The information received indicated that 52% of the total damage was caused by abiotic agents and 48% by biotic agents. The main biotic agent was the bark beetle, followed by the pine processionary and pine sawfly, and diseases such as tip blight, root disease, butt rot and ash dieback. Among abiotic agents, storms and droughts caused 61% of the total damage and 35% was caused by fire and snow.

Norway spruce was mostly affected (52%), followed by different species of pine (32%). Among broadleaves, beech (32%), oak (25%) and birch (13%) were affected.

Different measures were applied against the damaging agents, of which some are part of regular forest management and its adaptation. Other measures required more specific actions, including the use of chemicals, building additional storage capacities, and engaging additional workforce. 

The scale of the measures undertaken was often very large, even exceeding the financial capacities of the European State Forest Management Organizations who, therefore, require external aid instruments from national and/or EU resources. In total, close to 800 million EUR will be spent to recover.

More information about the report is available here.


The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 must be balanced, realistic and feasible

The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 has been published as one of the paths towards the EU Green Deal and the Global Biodiversity Framework. However, to fulfill its purpose, the Strategy needs to build upon sound scientific knowledge and verifiable facts. Its objectives and targets should be ambitious, but realistic and feasible.

The EU Biodiversity Strategy aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and to help stop global biodiversity loss. A well-designed Strategy could play a major role in upscaling good European experiences to a global level. However, the EU conservation targets should be reliable and achievable and, thus, not overburden forest managers.

To contribute to a future-fit EU Biodiversity Strategy, EUSTAFOR highlighted 5 policy recommendations which take into account the potential consequences of the Strategy on sustainable forest management (SFM) alongside the multiple objectives and emerging demands on EU state forests:  

1.    Conservation targets should be supported by a solid assessment of the current biodiversity status and trends in the EU;

2.    Restoration commitment requires properly defined objectives;

3.    The concepts of “primary” forests and “old-growth” forests need to be clarified;

4.    New targets need to be realistic, feasible and fairly distributed among various ecosystem types and land uses;

5.    Strengthening SFM is a feasible way forward.

When establishing further forestry-related objectives, EUSTAFOR strongly believes that an active role should be taken by Member States, in line with the subsidiarity principle, while ensuring the participation of forest owners and managers, as well as all other relevant actors.

Read EUSTAFOR’s position paper here.


FSC Launches Indigenous Foundation

The Foundation is an extension of FSC’s commitment to working with Indigenous Peoples to find solutions for the sustainable management of forests. It is a strategic and operative unit established to develop creative and innovative solutions to support Indigenous communities and enable them to build and guide the sustainable management of their land.

FSC’s commitment to working with Indigenous Communities is part of its DNA and has always been central to its work. FSC Director General, Kim Carstensen explained that FSC’s decades of experience were proof that Indigenous communities were one of the most important factors for the sustainable management of forests. “I’m delighted that FSC’s Indigenous members have wanted to come together with us to facilitate the establishment of this unique Foundation. It is Indigenous led and Indigenous governed and has a very strong link with FSC. For me, this is a major opportunity for forest-dependent Indigenous Peoples worldwide, and is a breakthrough for FSC’s mission and our global strategic plan, which is deliberately designed with Indigenous input at its core,” Carstensen said. 

The Indigenous Foundation is headed by Francisco Souza, who is an Indigenous person himself with decades of experience working with environmental and Indigenous organizations particularly in Latin America. Souza aims to use his experience working with Indigenous communities across over 70 million hectares of Amazon rainforest to ensure increased Indigenous engagement in creating and leading sustainable forest-based solutions across the globe.

The FSC Indigenous Foundation is headquartered in Panama.


Discover 2B Office: the first FSC-certified construction project

On 1 February, 2B Office became the first project in the world to get certified based on that standard. It has also become the first FSC-certified project ever in the Iberian peninsula.

2B Forest, the company behind this project, provides advice to develop and implement strategies and innovative projects related to forest certification. As a company that practices what it preaches, 2B Forest already possesses two FSC forest management and chain of custody certificates. Naturally, when 2B Forest founder and director Susana Brigido heard of the possibility to get FSC Project Certification, she jumped at the chance.

The company decided that building their own office through the FSC project certification would be a great way to do just that. Additionally, this work would involve two of the main sectors using forest products: the civil construction and furniture sectors. 2B Forest eventually partnered up with FSC Portugal as well as local Azores Regional Government and wood producer Marques Britas S.A.

The project only uses national tree species. Among these local species, the suppliers provided maritime pine for the floor and as structural material, as well as cryptomeria japonica.

The office is expected to open its doors soon. It will include a collaborative working space. Co-workers will have a chance to further develop their knowledge of the protection and value enhancement of local forests. The office will also be a spot for 2B Office partners to showcase their FSC-certified products.


Italian Local Entities Join Forces with FSC to Preserve Ecosystem Services

Forests play a critical role in regulating the earth’s climate. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), deforestation and forest degradation account for over 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. The Paris Agreement calls on countries to drastically reduce these emissions to keep global temperature rise under 2°C. In response, the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure offers a solution to maintain, enhance and restore carbon storage in forests. It consists of seven steps to help FSC certificate holders show the positive impact of their responsible forest management on the preservation and restoration of specific ecosystem services. An independent certification body evaluates this process and, if verified, each proposed positive impact results in a so-called “ecosystem service claim.” The certificate holder can then use it for promotion and comms purposes.

Recently, two local entities in Italy successfully used the procedure in their publicly managed forests. The Regional Authority for Agriculture and Forestry Services of the Lombardy Region and the Union of Municipalities Valdarno and Valdisieve both demonstrated beneficial impacts linked to the restoration of forest carbon stocks.

“The maintenance and proper management of these forests, backed by a well-informed and responsible decision process, represents a unique opportunity to conserve and improve essential ecosystem services in Italy,” commented Ilaria Dalla Vecchia, at FSC Italy. FSC certifies ecosystem service sites all over the world. If you are interested in this initiative, please visit the ecosystem services webpage to find out how to get involved.


Assessment of Multiple Ecosystem Services and Integration into Turkish Forest Management Plans

Under the UNDP/GEF project “Integrated Approach to Management of Forests in Turkey, with Demonstration in High Conservation Value Forests in the Mediterranean Region”, Nature Conservation Centre (DKM) assessed forest ecosystem services in five districts of Mediterranean forests in Turkey, covering about 6 500 km2, and integrated multiple ecosystem services into Forest Management Plans for the first time in Turkey.

To determine optimal forest management practices based on the “watershed” approach, DKM quantified water flow regulation (assessing water yield and using flood-torrent risk) and soil conservation (using erosion risk) services from forest ecosystems, modelled these water-related services and validated them through field surveys, stakeholder workshops and expert views. Moreover, DKM determined forest stands along hiking routes and proposed management activities for these stands in forest management plans. The economic valuation of forest ecosystems was assessed in one of the districts for carbon storage, wood production, and recreation services.

In the end, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Forestry in Turkey, DKM developed management actions to enhance forest ecosystem services in these districts. These forestry practices included different silvicultural options at forest sub-stand level. In Turkey, this innovative approach was implemented for the first time in the management planning process of forests.

For more information please visit: www.dkm.org.tr/en


650,000 trees have been planted in one day in Azerbaijan

A thousand hectares of new forest massifs were laid down after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, in Azerbaijan.

Last year, a massive tree planting campaign was held in all regions to mark the 650th birth anniversary of the great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi.

More than 650,000 trees have been planted in one day within the environmental campaign.  This noble initiative came from Azerbaijan’s First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva.

The tree planting campaign that featured 37 species of trees covered whole country.  All of the trees has been grown in the nursery gardens of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. Tree saplings were chosen according to the climatic conditions of each region. More than 200 public agencies, international and private organizations joined the campaign.

Besides this initiative, the greening activities such as the establishment of modern agro-forest massifs are being implemented all over year in the country. In its turn, all these activities make significant contribution to the climate change mitigation and environmental protection.

Officials say they are striving to make the country green to serve the well-being of both current and future generations.

Azerbaijan joined the Bonn Challenge with the commitment of bringing 270 thousand hectares’ forest land into restoration by 2030.


Mobile application providing information on Polish forests

Reaching decision-makers and the general public with information about forests provided in an understandable way is very important to promote better understanding of forest ecosystems and forestry. A modern tool facilitating this has recently been published in Poland: the Forest Data Bank mobile application (mBDL). Currently it has over 70,000 users and their number is constantly growing.

The app is available free of charge on Android and iOS in Polish and English. You can access with it all thematic forest maps published by the Forest Data Bank as well as detailed forest inventory data on individual forest stands. It has also been equipped with functionalities useful for mobile users, such as displaying current location, track recording and possibility to use external map services and aerial images. It is also possible to download data for later off-line use, which is very useful in many remote areas without good mobile signal coverage.

The Forest Data Bank collects and provides information on the current state of forests of all ownership forms in Poland, changes occurring in them and management activities, in conjunction with information on nature protection and condition of the natural environment. Thanks to this service you can learn almost anything about any forested part of Poland - from species composition, age, type of habitat, to current planning documents for a given forest management unit, to the location of forest car parks, camping sites or other tourism infrastructure.

The Forest Data Bank has become an important part of the Polish forestry institutional landscape as the primary contact point for obtaining information on Polish forests. Analyses, reports, forest resources development forecasts are prepared periodically.

The Forest Data Bank and the mBDL mobile application are developed by the Bureau for Forest Management and Geodesy (BULiGL) and financed by the Directorate General of State Forests.


Garden of Memory campaign

The ‘Garden of Memory’ International Campaign dedicated to 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the World War II was launched in March 2020.

The original idea was to plant 27 million trees in Russia and countries of the CIS to commemorate the fallen in the Great Patriotic War. Each young tree is a symbol of life given for the peace and wellbeing of future generations.

In Russia, the initiative from activists and volunteers received support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the Federal Forestry Agency.

The concept of the campaign goes in line with the goals to protect and enlarge the forests resources of Russia which is stipulated by ‘Preservation of Forests’ federal project of Russia.

In the course of three months, the youth and adults from over 40 countries have joined and by the beginning of June, there were already over 22 million trees planted around the world. Participants are planting trees in forest areas, suburbs and cities – in memory of their relatives lost in the war.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, large and participatory planting events gave way to small and cosy activities which can be followed by #СадПамятиДома, when participants are planting trees in their gardens and near their country houses.

«The Garden of Memory» campaign will go on till at least the 22nd of June. All those who are interested in participation are kindly invited to join and find out more at www.facebook.com/memorialgarden75/ and vk.com/memorialgarden.


International Day of Forests in Russia

Over a thousand events were held around the Russian Federation on the occasion of the International Day of Forests in 2020.

In view of the COVID-related restrictions, virtual events became more popular year instead of physical gatherings.

For children, there were online-lessons and make-believe tours about how to behave when in forests. Students and adults were offered quizzes and conferences aimed to raise awareness on forest-related issues. News received good coverage via social networks.

The Federal Forestry Agency of Russia and the FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation marked the IDF with a video media conference. The event provided with opportunities to exchange views on the current issues of interest, including forest protection and restoration, as well as bringing the attention of young people to forestry. The Federal Forestry Agency informed on the implementation of the ‘Preservation of Forests’ federal project in 2019. In Russia, the area of forest restoration exceeded 1 million hectares last year. During the 2019 spring and autumn reforestation community campaigns, 6 million volunteers planted over 100 million trees. The ‘Save the Forest’ autumn initiative received special attention during the 2019 reforestation campaign. It comprised events with 3 million participants and 35 million trees planted in 83 regions of the Russian Federation.

The IDF has already become a tradition in Russia. Online-mode will enrich the experience, though we hope for more live communication and visits to nature sites at next IDFs.


Heroes of forestry

In 2020, the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of the victory over fascism in the World War II, which was one of the most sanguinary periods for all humankind. It claimed millions of lives and left an indelible mark on everyone’s soul.

Although the Great Victory was forged not only on the battlefields, but also in the home front. Forestry scientists have also contributed to the defeat of fascism. A vivid example is the history of the oldest forestry research institution in Russia – the Saint Petersburg Forestry Research Institute (SPbFRI), a permanent member of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO).

By 1941, the Institute had already been working for more than ten years. It was a central research institution of national importance. The Institute was a leader in the development of different subjects such as the significance of forests in view of water regulation, patterns of tree fructification, natural recreation of forests on places of deforestation, agricultural techniques for planting stock growing, breeding of different wood species, etc.

It was the scientists of the SPbFRI who first published an overview on the technology level of forestry in various countries of the world and compiled a catalogue of 600 tools and machines. This has made it possible to develop and supply 10 new types of equipment for forestry activities to domestic production.

The war thwarted plans of the scientists instantly. Some of the employees were off at the front in the first month of the war, many died defending their homeland from the enemy.

The Institute was evacuated to Veliky Ustyug (Vologda Region). Forestry scientists continued their research work even during the evacuation. Their subject had practical character and included pine and birch bleeding, forest protection and recreation. Despite the difficulties of wartime, several studies on the natural forest recreation and the extraction of saccharine product from birch were published.

The Siege of Leningrad caused many casualties for the Institute. It claimed lives of 13 employees of the Institute. Neither hunger nor severe cold broke those who remained in the besieged city. At the cost of heroic efforts, they could preserve all scientific research results, documents and research materials. This allowed the Institute to resume its activities immediately as soon as the siege was broken.

The war has caused huge damage to forestry. The forestry scientists of the SPbFRI made a significant contribution to the restoration and postwar development of this field. They developed recommendations for production almost in all areas of the forest industry.

The glory and valor of forestry scientists will live through the centuries. In the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, we recall their names again and pay tribute of gratitude and respect for their feat www.spb-niilh.ru/k-75-yu-pobedy-v-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyne.


Climate doctrine

Global climate change is the most important issue of modern times. In 2015 195 delegations from the entire world at UN Climate Conference in Paris approved a new global agreement which superseded Kyoto Protocol. The most important achievement of Paris climate agreement became, among others, recognition of role of forests to prevent global climate changes.

Due to the fact that more than a half of boreal forests are located in Russia, our country possesses  a large onshore carbon pool, which has an important function to decrease carbon content in the air, not only for Russia, but also for other countries. Thus, future climate of the planet will depend to the significant extent on Russian land-use policy and forest management practice. At that the key role become scientific research aiming at development of forestry management optimization measures, allowing to increase carbon emission in forestry.

Such research is conducted by scientists at Saint-Petersburg Forestry Research Institute (SPFRI), for which climate scope of research is one of its priorities. Within governmental assignment, SPFRI participated in development of scientific substantiation of long-term development strategy of the Russian Federation with low emission level of greenhouse gases for the period up to 2050.

The scientists at the Institute determined new directions of forest management development, such as large-scale sustainable forest planting, forest cultivation, as well as system of targeted climate oriented forest management measures to provide long-term carbon deposition in forest pools and sequestering wooded lands. Development measures of low-carbon development of Russian economy were proposed, which are based on policy and measures to decrease emissions and increase of greenhouse gases absorption.

Obtained results may be used for evaluation of emission and absorption level of greenhouse gases by forests in accordance with forecasted long-term forestry development scenarios.

More information on climate research of SPFRI is available at spb-niilh.ru/klimaticheskie-issledovaniya 


The European Green Deal – a once in a lifetime opportunity for wood-based panels?

Within the framework of its advocacy strategy, the European Panel Federation (EPF) elaborated a leaflet to bring more visibility to the wood-based panels industry towards key decision-makers and other stakeholders. The leaflet offers a visual content together with factual data of the wood-based panels industry. The leaflet presents includes also EPF’s Green Deal objectives in terms of policy recommendations for the transition towards a circular and climate neutral economy, namely:

•    the guarantee of a level playing field and secure supply for wooden raw materials;

•    the use of sustainable bio-based products (such as wood-based panels) to mitigate climate change;

•    the cascade use of harvested wood products (use, reuse and recycle);

•    the promotion of climate-friendly products to empower consumers’ choices.


URBFORDAN

Urban lifestyle is fast and intensive, thus vast numbers of citizens and visitors actively search for places to relax from daily stress. Often, there is no time for “the escape from the city”, so they look for alternatives. Traditionally, they find them in Urban and Peri-urban Forests. Their status of “green city lungs” is the main reason why UPF in 7 project partner Cities (covering over 35 km2) have so-far survived all urbanization pressures relatively intact. However, multiplication of activities and increasing numbers of citizens (6,5 mio in 7 cities) and visitors (over 15 mio per year in 7 cities) put UPF under unprecedented pressures. City of Ljubljana, being The Green Capital of Europe 2016, composed the transnational URBforDAN partnership in order to present new standards in sustainable and participatory UPF management.

Through the introduction of a participatory approach, URBforDAN project improves cooperation between stakeholders and actively involved them in development of 7 Integrated Multi-use Management Plans (IMMP) – delivering not only improved UPF management and utilization of ecosystem services, but also a constructive dialogue with citizens and mind-change needed to resolve concrete conflicts. It improves the current image of 7 UPF focus areas and turns them into places for socialization, relaxation, recreation, education and natural heritage experience for a diverse set of target groups. It diversifies and enriches “the green content” of 7 Cities through new and improved services and products, accessible on over 1.200 ha. COVID19 crisis revealed the true importance of UPF for wellbeing of citizens, as they offer important escape and stress relief from current restrictions – a great value for any modern city.

For more information please contact Mr. Luka Sesel at luka.sesel@ljubljana.si or visit www.ljubljana.si/en/news/the-urbfordan-project-for-the-management-of-urban-forests/.


Wood Industry reaction on the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030

On 20 May 2020 the European Commission published the new EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030, which sets up a new EU Nature Restoration Plan, aimed at conserving biodiversity and improving the resilience of natural ecosystems. It sets the target to increase the protected surface area to least 30% of the land from the current 26%, also setting a sub-target of 10% of areas covered by strict protection, with a special focus on primary and old-growth forests.

The Strategy also states that “in addition to strictly protecting all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests, the EU must increase the quantity, quality and resilience of its forests, notably against fires, droughts, pests, diseases and other threats likely to increase with climate change” and that “more resilient forests can support a more resilient economy. They also play an important role in providing materials, products and services, which are key for the circular bio-economy”.

“We agree on the need to improve the resilience of European forests against the challenges of climate change, and we consider that sustainable and active forest management is an effective way to prevent forest damages; this should have been better acknowledged in the Strategy” commented Mr. Antonicoli, Secretary-General of CEI-Bois, also reminding that in addition to economic losses damaged forests lose their biodiversity values and role as carbon sinks.

Read the full statement here.


The European Forest-based Ecosystem calls to be eligible for support by the European Recovery Plan and Industrial Strategy

In light of the European Commission’s expected announcement of which business ecosystems will be targeted by the European Recovery Plan and new Industrial Strategy for Europe, the partners of the forest-based sector have sent a proposal to EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to include the European Forest-based Industries Ecosystem as one of the ecosystems eligible for support in the plan.

“The European forest-based ecosystem has a very strong role in the European economy while also being a climate-friendly, resilient sector already oriented towards a green, sustainable economy. Its basic raw material is wood: a renewable, recyclable resource coming from sustainably managed forests in Europe. Its production processes handle this resource very efficiently, minimising waste and offering the possibility to substitute fossil materials and energy”, said Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of CEI-Bois.

The sector counts more than 420,000 enterprises (20% of the total EU manufacturing sector), 3.5 million of direct employees (10% of the total workforce in manufacture) and generates an annual turnover of 520 billion euros, 3% of the EU GDP.

"As key pillars in our common European resilience, we are sourced, manufactured, reused and recycled in Europe unlike any other ecosystem and based on European innovations and technology. One in five manufacturing companies in the EU belongs to the forest-based industries ecosystem and offers an important amount of jobs well distributed over all countries and regions and in particular in rural areas. We are also a fertile ecosystem for digital services and applications. We generate a significant export income to the European economy", commented Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf.

Read the full statement here.


PEFC Spain held the 2020 Forum of Forest Directors

The 2020 Directors Forum organized by PEFC Spain places importance on SFM to face the new post-Covid stage.

General Directors for Forests, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Environment of the Spanish Autonomous Regions Aragón, Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Bask Country, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Galicia and Navarra, as well as the experts from the Forest Owners (COSE), University of Valencia (UVA) and Technology and Science Forest Centre (CTFC) conclude that the main challenges to foster the forest sector are based on good management of forest resources and services and the promotion of circular bioeconomy and green employment.

The Forum of Directors 2020 was opened by the Spanish Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán to discuss about “Forests, their products and services in the post-Covid world, measures for the future, challenges and opportunities" and it was moderated by Jesús Casas, President of TRAGSA Group. The aim of this meeting was to position the forest sector and the benefits of the forests for society in the new environment.

During the session, it was highlighted the importance of sustainable forest management to face the new post-Covid era in which the main challenges for promoting the forestry sector lie in the responsible management of forest resources and services and in the promotion of the circular bioeconomy and green employment.

Other interesting forestry discussions regarding the role of the forest in both human health and demographic issues and the measures that should be applied by the administrations to enhance the resilience of forest ecosystems concluded that they can be improved by promoting sustainable forest management and the use of forest certified products, both wood and NWFP. These are some of the key issues for progressing towards a low carbon and circular economy, technology, and innovative nature-based solutions. Through these means the forest sector can be better positioned.

For any further information, please contact comunicacion@pefc.es // +34 91 591 00 88.

If you are interested in PEFC newsletter, click here and subscribe.


ROSEWOOD4.0: taking the ROSEWOOD network to the next level!


Fashion’s forest footprint: PEFC at Innovation Forum

The use of forest fibres in our clothing is on the rise and is increasingly in the spotlight. This is great news, but we have to be careful, since we don’t always know where these fibres come from. And that is a problem.

At a recent panel discussion at the Innovation Forum Sustainable Apparel and Textiles Conference, PEFC CEO Ben Gunneberg discussed possibilities to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

Fashion brands source around 6.7 million metric tons of dissolving wood pulp for apparel fibres a year. Various studies have found that about 50% of this supply is likely to come from a sustainable source. This means, at least 50% of these fibres are sourced from an unknown forest origin. If the source is unknown, we don’t know whether the use of these forest fibres is contributing to deforestation, or poor conditions for those living and working in the forest.

It is vital that all fashion brands and retailers know where the forest fibres they are using in their clothing come from. PEFC certification is the perfect tool to provide them with assurance that all fibres come from a sustainable source. PEFC chain of custody certification tracks forest fibres along the supply chain, so we know that this material came from a sustainably managed forest.

PEFC-certified apparel can carry the PEFC label, enabling consumers to choose their clothes, knowing the materials are sustainable, and that they are helping to support forests and those who live and work in them.

[Check out the Innovation Forum podcast with Ben Gunneberg]

[Learn more about PEFC at Innovation Forum]

[Learn more about PEFC and sustainable fashion]


What do current students expect from their future career in the forest-related sector?

This is one of the questions the “Global Students Networking and Green Jobs in the forest sector” project is trying to investigate with their recently launched global survey among students and recent graduates of forest-related higher education programs.

The Green Jobs project is coordinated by the European Forest Institute (EFI) in collaboration with the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). It investigates the transforming employment trends in the forest sector while putting a special focus on the perspective of students and recent graduates from around the world. The young generation is a key actor of the future whether as professionals, leaders, or educators. Their skills and advocacy will be essential for strengthening the forest sector towards a sustainable future.

The objective of the survey is to gain a better understanding of the perception of necessary skills and competencies and employment-related ambitions and preparedness of forest-related students from around the globe.

The questionnaire will take ~20 minutes to complete. We encourage you to share the survey with any students or recent graduates in your networks and further appreciate sharing with contacts at universities that could help to spread the survey among the target group. 

Take part in the survey and help us find out what students expect from their future career in the forest-related sector!

Link to the survey : https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90242538/56cba9a0051f

For further information please contact: lisa.prior@efi.int


Introducing: Bamboo and Rattan Update

A new magazine is now calling for articles about two of the world’s most important non-timber forest products.

The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR), an intergovernmental organisation made up of more than 40 countries, has launched Bamboo and Rattan Update: a magazine dedicated to sharing the latest high-quality news and activities from the bamboo and rattan sector.

As two of the world’s most valuable non-timber forest products, bamboo (the fast-growing woody grass plant) and rattan (the spiky climbing palm) could be very strategic resources for sustainable development. They grow locally to some of the poorest areas in the tropics and subtropics, and already provide a versatile, year-round form of income for millions of people, as well as a source of renewable energy, affordable housing, sustainable durable products, and a tool for carbon storage and land restoration.

For its first issue, the Bamboo and Rattan Update editorial team is welcoming topical, accessible and fresh submissions on the theme of ‘Bamboo, rattan and sustainable development’, including:

•    New activities, research or news in relation to bamboo or rattan’s relationship to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, written in an accessible and engaging style;

•    Any new and significant technological innovation, political commitment or action relating to the topic;

•    Best practices, pilot projects and profiles of successful initiatives.

Each successful submission will be awarded USD 300.

Authors wishing to submit content should send a 100-summary of their intended article to bru-magazine@inbar.int by WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE. Authors must bear in mind the Bamboo and Rattan Update editorial guidelines when preparing their summary.


Bamboo: the future of bamboo biomass energy in Uganda?

Divine Nabaweesi’s bamboo charcoal company has won the ‘Energy Access Booster’ award for its visionary contributions to clean cooking and deforestation prevention.

Uganda-based company Divine Bamboo has a clear vision: “an Africa with zero deforestation and increased access to renewable energy.” Established in 2016, Divine Bamboo uses local bamboo to create charcoal briquettes, as a renewable alternative to traditional cooking fuels. The company has already made a name for itself in the biomass energy sector, as one of the largest producers of bamboo seedlings in Uganda, and a strong voice for promoting bamboo energy. In 2020, Divine Bamboo won the prestigious ‘Energy Access Booster Award’ for its work.

In a recent interview, the company’s CEO, Divine Nabaweesi, discussed why bamboo charcoal could be such an important new source of cooking fuel in her country, and about Divine Bamboo’s ambitious plans for the future. As well as reducing household expenditure—Nabaweesi estimates that one 50-kilo sack of bamboo charcoal, created from waste, is can sell for half the price of traditional charcoal in Kampala—bamboo charcoal can reduce stress on stressed forest resources, by providing a fast-growing source of cooking fuel with a similar calorific value. The company aims to use the award money to upscale rapidly, establishing 200 hectares of bamboo plantations and training 1000 farmers by 2021.

The full interview can be read here.

More information about Divine Bamboo’s work is available at their website.


Envisioning the Future of Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers (MMCF)

Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future are proud to present you a new Vision for the future of MMCF- including viscose, modal, rayon, and lyocell- the second biggest cellulosic fiber group after cotton. As a derivative of wood pulp and other natural plant materials, MMCF can play an important role in regenerating many of Earth's ecosystems, which play an essential role in stabilizing the planet's climate.

The MMCF 2030 Vision comes at a time when the textile and apparel industries are grappling with the significant and lasting disruption caused by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-convened by Forum for the Future and Textile Exchange, and co-created by the most significant industry players and stakeholders in the MMCF value chain, the Vision outlines how MMCF could revolutionize the global textile industry by realizing truly circular fashion, regenerating ecosystems, providing vital carbon sinks, and growing community resilience and prosperity. It calls on businesses and industry actors across the value chain to align with the Vision's goals and act together to build a resilient industry that is good for both society and planet.

Not sure where to start? Collective, connected action accomplishes more than any organization can do alone and is why we convene the textile and apparel community in a pre-competitive, fiber-specific space. Contact us to participate in the ongoing MMCF Round Table work.


SUGi empowers the Rewilding Generation

A power tool & culture hub for biodiversity builders.

SUGi creates transformative opportunities and experiences for anyone to connect with and invest in Nature. Their mission is two-fold: to restore healthy ecosystems and restore people by bringing them back to themselves as an essential part of the natural world.

Over the past year, SUGi has funded the creation of 10 ultra-dense, biodiverse urban forests of native species only in 6 cities. What makes SUGi’s urban forests so special? Their global network of forest makers create ultra-dense, biodiverse forests of native species only using a proven Japanese technique called the Miyawaki method. These land forests are 100% natural, 30x denser and 100x more biodiverse than conventional tree plantations.

Limbi Tata dreamt of rewilding water catchments in her village in Cameroon, with the goal of raising water levels. She reached out via “Request a Forest” in the SUGi App, and in December 2019, a first water catchment (600 trees), was funded. In March 2020, SUGi funded the second water catchment: 1,000 Sq m (3,000 trees). Limbi is now starting a local SUGi training Academy and crabs have returned, signaling that rewilding works!

SUGi began as an App, but is relaunching this summer as a full web presence to bring their hands-on DIY ethic to sustainability. SUGi’s future plans include more urban land forests and a new ocean forest partner, plus a lifestyle blog and dynamic brand partnerships. Stay tuned and discover more at sugiproject.com.


Sustainable management proves positive impacts on Italian forests' ecosystem services

Regional Authority for Agriculture and Forestry Services of the Lombardy Region (ERSAF) and Union of Municipalities Valdarno and Valdisieve (UCVV) respectively manage 16,594 and 1,448 hectares of forests in Lombardy and Tuscany regions, and are the most recent cases of positive impacts verification through FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure.

The FSC procedure provides a global approach that certificate holders can use to demonstrate the impact of their forest management activities and requires a comparison between present and past data to evaluate positive ecosystem service impacts: an independent certification body oversees this process and, if verified, each proposed positive impact results in a so-called claim that can be used for communication purposes or to attract investments.

ERSAF and UCVV were able to quantify beneficial impacts on forest carbon stocks, demonstrating an increased capacity of respectively 18 per cent since 2009 (> 3 million tons of CO2 absorbed) and 20 per cent since 2004 (> 650 thousand tons of CO2 absorbed). ERSAF also protected 30 freshwater sources in its forests from degradation, excessive human consumption and contamination, significantly improving the pH and nitrogen levels of those sources.

The last few years have seen Italy as a forerunner in the enhancement of forest ecosystem services: in December 2018, all five natural services offered by forests were verified on a 1.000 hectares forest area between Trentino and the Po valley. A few months later, the same verification was applied to a poplar plantation near Mantua.

Read more here.


U.S. Packaging Preferences 2020: A study of consumer preferences, perceptions and attitudes toward packaging

Two Sides North America, an independent, non-profit organization, and part of the Two Sides global network, commissioned a study of 2,000 U.S. consumers to explore and understand consumer preferences, perceptions and attitudes toward packaging.

According to Phil Riebel, President, Two Sides North America, Inc., “packaging is receiving more attention than ever as society tries to achieve a more circular economy. Consumers are becoming more aware of available packaging choices for the items they buy, which in turn is influencing packaging decisions by businesses – particularly in the retail sector. The culture of “make, use, dispose” is gradually changing.”

Some key findings include:
•       54% of American consumers are aware of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI® ) label; 45% are aware of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) label, and 42% are aware of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™(PEFC™) label. U.S. consumers consider SFI® slightly more important than FSC® and PEFC™
•       Paper and cardboard packaging rank highest with consumers for many sustainability attributes including home compostability (69%), better for the environment (66%) and easier to recycle (51%).
•       57% of consumers are actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging
•       57% of consumers prefer products ordered online to be delivered in paper packaging rather than plastic packaging.

Full report is available here.


European forest owners: the key to safeguard biodiversity

On 20 May 2020, European Commission adopted the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) welcomes the general objective to conserve and enhance biodiversity, including in European forests. However, CEPF regrets that the Strategy misses the opportunity to ensure policy coherence and properly acknowledge the climate and biodiversity benefits originating from the use of wood that is sustainably and locally sourced.

The Strategy also overlooks the work and related achievements done by the European forest owners in conserving biodiversity as part of the daily forest management activities and as such misses to acknowledge their positive role. CEPF also calls for sustainable forest management (SFM) to be rather seen as an opportunity to continue providing practices that safeguard the biodiversity in view of the climate change impact while ensuring that other multiple ecosystem services provided by forests can be delivered in a balanced way. Read more on the CEPF press release here.

Prior to the publication of the new Biodiversity Strategy, CEPF, together with 13 organisations representing European forest-based sector, published a statement raising three main issues to be considered in the Strategy: 1. SFM is the ABC of biodiversity conservation in forests; 2. Are more restrictions the best way to preserve forests?; 3. The future EU Forest Strategy should pave the way.

Please find the statement here.

To know more about the key role of the European forest owners and SFM in reaching the Green Deal objectives, please read the CEPF article on the REVOLVE Magazine here.


Publications


The EPF Annual Report 2019-2020 is out

The European Panel Federation, representing the European manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood, is proud to present the 22nd issue of its Annual Report published on the occasion of its Managing Board Meeting on 17 June 2020.

This reference handbook for the wood-based panels industry in Europe and globally, is also available electronically on USB-card.

For more details, please click here.


Effective bioeconomy? a MRIO-based socioeconomic and environmental impact assessment of generic sectoral innovations

A recent study published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change evaluates the potential socioeconomic and environmental effects of four forest-based innovations. It examines a possible increased diffusion of wood in structural vehicle construction, timber construction, wood-based textile fibers, and chemical products in the European Union. The study uses a multi-regional input-output approach, which allows for regionalization of impacts.

The authors find significant differences between the effects induced by the innovation cases despite of relatively homogeneous scenario assumptions. The assessment shows that the utilization paths of wood are decisive for the sustainability characteristics of a future bioeconomy. The mere promotion of biomass use is not sufficient to support the development of an effective and efficient bioeconomy as formulated by the European Commission, the authors say.

The work is part of a growing research field that attempts to depict systemic effects of bioeconomic development. While successful in demonstrating an approach to quantify economy-wide effects of bioeconomic innovations, the authors emphasize the need for further empirical and model-based research in this area, for example, to capture rebound effects caused by substitution processes.

Read the full article here.


Tourist perceptions and uses of urban green infrastructure: An exploratory cross-cultural investigation

This research aimed to enhance knowledge regarding the role of UGI in urban tourism. The research questions addressed tourists’ perceptions of UGI, their understanding and uses of UGI, and the ways that this understanding influenced their travel choice to specific urban destinations.

A cross-cultural comparative study among urban tourists was carried out in eight European countries. Looking from the perspective of the tourists’ countries of origin, our findings validate a well-established trend in international tourism, namely the fact that neighbouring countries tend to be the most significant tourist markets of an urban destination.

The other major finding confirmed the most well-known tourist movement patterns of Northern and Central Europeans travelling to the Mediterranean for tourism purposes. While the study revealed that the majority of the tourists interviewed were not very familiar with the term ‘Green Infrastructure’, nor with specific UGI features offered in the visited cities, the importance of UGI was acknowledged and viewed in a mostly very positive light.

The majority of respondents enjoyed visiting UGI and used it for some light physical activity or for purposes of relaxation, socialization, and in order to explore the culture and society of the destination city. The fact that most UGI in the case study cities is located around or within a short distance from important heritage sites provided UGI with an indirect possibility of being included in the tourists’ visiting plans. In conclusion, the results of this study may prove to be very helpful to local and regional authorities in considering how to plan, manage and promote an urban tourism destination’s green infrastructure as part of the tourism offer.

Read the whole article here.


Is there a demand for collective urban gardens? Needs and motivations of potential gardeners in Belgrade

This paper provides the first insights into the demand for collective urban gardens in the city of Belgrade. There are no institutional tools at present to support the development of such gardens, although there has been an almost century-long process of advocating collective urban gardening among the experts in city planning. By looking into the possible future needs and motivations of the potential gardeners, specifically, those who are not involved in allotment or community gardening, this study also aims to contribute to the efforts made in the past.

The survey was conducted among 300 randomly selected respondents in three municipalities in Belgrade. Data were analysed using factor analytic—multiple regression approach to establish correlations between personal characteristics of potential gardeners and their motivations for gardening. Results indicated a potentially high demand for collective urban gardens, with individual plots slightly preferred to shared gardens. Commonly mentioned motivations are access to healthy and fresh food followed by recreation and light physical activity. People with previous experience in agriculture or gardening are more willing to get involved. Older respondents seem to be more motivated by „subjective well-being“, specifically in terms of relaxation and pleasure from gardening. The results of the study could serve as an input for the regulation and planning of collective urban gardens, specifically considering the needs and motivations of the senior population in cities.

Full article is available here.


« Le bois certifié du bassin du Congo, une excellence africaine »

Depuis bientôt vingt ans, une évolution considérable a eu lieu en Afrique centrale en matière de production responsable de bois. Certains producteurs ont réussi à produire à la fois bien et beau. Souvent décriés, attaqués, boycottés, soldés, il est temps de rétablir certains faits et de valoriser ce qui doit être, loin des discours d'apitoiement.

Ainsi, sur les 6,6 millions de mètres cubes de grumes (rondins de bois) qui sont annuellement prélevés dans le bassin du Congo, pas moins de 1,1 million de mètres cubes le sont suivant les critères du label le plus exigeant au monde : celui du Forest Stewardship Council, couramment appelé FSC. Pour rappel, celui-ci a été fondé en 1993, alors que le sommet de la Terre de Rio (1992) n'avait pas donné les résultats escomptés en matière de préservation des forêts. Se sont alors mis autour de la table des ONG, des entreprises et des environnementalistes afin de plancher sur un modèle innovant dont l'objectif est de conserver les forêts pour les générations futures. Le résultat en a été la création d'un modèle qui veille à la protection des droits des travailleurs et des populations, au strict respect des lois nationales et internationales ou encore à la sauvegarde de la faune et de la flore.

Full text in French : LE POINT AFRIQUE

Other publications by the same author

 


Events


COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week

22- 25 June 2020

12:00 – 3:00 PM CET Monday to Thursday

Tune in to the COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week

Building back better: COVID-19 pandemic recovery contributions from the forest sector.

The week is organized by FAO in close collaboration with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.

The COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week will feature a series of virtual sessions in the week in which COFO25 and the World Forest Week were originally scheduled. The sessions comprise high-level events as well as technical thematic sessions.

The COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week will assess impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people and forests; identify and discuss possible responses that help mitigate impacts on people and forests and help address the situation in the short term while at the same time contributing to building a more resilient and sustainable future; propose follow-up steps, including policy dialogue and mobilizing of resources and action that better enables the forest sector to help rebuild sustainable and resilient societies - building back better.

To participate in the events, follow this link: fao.zoom.us/j/94518631530; Password: 419886


PEFC Webinar: Creating impact through responsibly sourced packaging

Sustainable consumption is on the rise. 73% of global consumers say they would change their consumption habits to reduce their environment impact. This means it has never been more important to use sustainable materials, to know that your products come from sustainable sources and to prove that to your customers.

Join our PEFC Webinar: Creating impact through responsibly sourced packaging and learn more about PEFC certification and the advantages for your business and beyond! The webinar is free to attend and takes place 23 June at 11:00-11:50 CEST.

Please note that the webinar will be run in English, and you need to register in order to receive the dial-in details. For those of you that registered but can’t attend, we will be recording the webinar and will share it with you afterwards.

Why should you attend?

The webinar will allow you to better understand what certification means on the ground. See what your choice of procuring or producing PEFC-certified packaging means for the health of our forests, for biodiversity, and for the people living and working in forests. And of course, how PEFC certification works to provide this assurance, throughout the supply chain to the final product.

While everybody is welcome, the webinar will be particularly interesting for sustainability and sourcing teams of brands and retailers, and for sustainability and sales teams of paper packaging manufacturers, converters and printers.

Take the chance to learn first-hand about PEFC and sustainable packaging and ask your questions to sustainability experts!

[Register here for the webinar]

[Learn more about the PEFC Webinar]


12th European Wood-based panel symposium, 30 September - 2 October 2020, Hamburg, Germany

We are very pleased to be able to present you with the finalised conference programme for the 12th European Wood-based Panel Symposium. As you will see, our co-organisers and we have spared no effort in compiling a multifaceted program of the highest quality for you from the numerous presentation proposals which were submitted.

We sincerely hope that the selected topics will arouse your interest and that, despite the restrictions currently imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, you will nevertheless register for the Symposium as a participant. This bi-annual forum is the meeting point for the latest innovations in the wood-based panel industry. It was most recently attended by 345 delegates from 34 countries, emphasising its global reach and appeal.

Until 4th August 2020, you will be able to register for the event at the early bird price via the conference homepage www.european-wood-based-panel-svmposium.oro. Should you or your company be a member of the International Association for Technical Issues related to Wood (iVTH) or the European Panel Federation (EPF), please contact the respective administrative offices for a voucher code enabling a reduced participation fee.

If the symposium has to be postponed to a later date - which we hope will not happen - your registration will, of course, retain its validity. Alternatively, you may request a refund of the amount already paid.

Our hope is naturally that we all remain healthy and that we will be able to have the pleasure of welcoming you to Hamburg at the end of September 2020.


How to contribute? Deadline to provide contributions to the next issue is 15 September 2020. Please note that the content of the billboard does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. Contributions are published as received and editing is the responsibility of the contributor. More information and the previous issues are available here.

We work in collaboration with the Global Forest Information Service.